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Is your child allowed to make mistakes?
Parenting Power Admin April 21, 2016 No Comments

Is your child allowed to make mistakes?

At the beginning of April, we shared that power lies in choice. We always have the ability to affect change by choosing our actions and the resulting consequences. The means of teaching our kids about their power is to teach them the same thing – that they always have a choice. They choose their actions and the related consequences.

At Parenting Power, we believe that this happens through discipline. This is the process of outlining clear expectations to our children, clarifying the consequences (both positive, and negative,) and then allowing our children to choose their own behaviour (and consequences).

As simple as this sounds, it does not always come easily to parents. What gets in the way?

1. It takes time to clearly determine expectations and consequences.

2. It may feel easier to make decisions for kids and hope that they do what we say. Of course, this backfires when we end up yelling at them to do it, bribing them to do it, or just doing it for them.

3. It can be feel mean to watch our kids make mistakes, and allow them to struggle. It can also feel mean to enforce the negative consequences.

Mistakes are vital learning opportunities for our kids. The word discipline has, as its root word disciple (a student of a teacher). When we discipline children, we teach them how to make choices and learn from the related consequences. Discipline teaches self-discipline. Mistakes and successes teach our children that they can choose their actions and thereby choose their consequences.

Today’s questions are:

Is your child allowed to make mistakes?

Do you allow your child to learn from choices?

Are you clarifying expectations and consequences with your child ahead of time or just throwing punishment at your child when s/he didn’t understand what was expected?

When punishment comes at you without warning, it doesn’t feel like you have a choice. In fact, punishment teaches children that they don’t have choices – it is the adults who have all the choices and responsibility and choose when to punish the children.

There is fairness and education in discipline. Children learn that they have the ability to choose (even between two choices they might not like.) They also learn to make tough choices based on the related consequences. Parents help them to learn this by allowing them to make mistakes and own whatever consequences result.

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